Wyndham History

William Archibald (Archie) Grigg (1895-1983)


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William Archibald (Archie) Grigg (1895-1983)





Wyndham City Libraries





World War One Veterans Item Type Metadata


William Archibald (Archie) Grigg

Birth Date


Service Number


Enlistment Date

Next of Kin

Thomas T Grigg,
Werribee, Victoria

Address at time of Enlistment



Marital Status


Death Date

Place of Burial

Springvale Botanical Cemetery (Cremation)

Biographical Text

No.3647  Sapper William Archibald (Archie) Grigg
William Archibald (Archie) Grigg was born in 1895 to Thomas Tobias Grigg and Kathleen Douglas Williamson at Drysdale, Victoria. His parents had married in Victoria in 1877.

The family first lived at "Greenvale", a farming property about one mile north of the Drysdale Railway Station. In early 1905,  Thomas Grigg began to sell off part of his Greenvale Estate. 
Geelong Advertiser, 24 April 1905, p.3.

In November 1905, the Trustee in the Estate of Mr T.T. Grigg authorised the public sale of the 350 acre Greenvale Farm as well as residential lots in the township of Portarlington. 
Geelong Advertiser, 25 November 1905, p.3
[It is unclear as to why a trustee was involved, as Mr T. T. Grigg had not died.]

Then in late December 1905, Mr T.T. Grigg’s Greenvale Estate at Drysdale was reported as about to be taken over by the Government for Closer Settlement Purposes.  
The Argus, 12 December 1905, p.6.  

Once they acquired it, it somehow came back to the Grigg family boys.  A newspaper item in the Geelong Advertiser, 23 June 1906, p.7 explains the operation of the "Greenvale" and "Elsievale" farming properties, and how they were being managed by the "four sturdy young brothers, Messrs, R., J., D., and T. Grigg, who had acquired the property under the Closer Settlement Act."   This referred to the brothers Richard (21 years), James (27 years), Donald (23 years) and Thomas (25 years). Norman at this time was just 13 years, and obviously worked on these properties.  William “Archie” would have been at school, possibly in the Gippsland area.

The "Greenvale" property, comprising a homestead and 99 acres, was again put up for auction under instructions from the Closer Settlement Board in 1914, but was passed in. This was reported in the Geelong Advertiser, 10 June 1914, p.2.  Nothing is known as to the reason why the Grigg boys decided to give up the property.

Before moving part of his family to the Metropolitan Farm at Werribee in 1914, and taking up a position as a stock manager/caretaker, Thomas Tobias Grigg J.P. had played a prominent role in Local Government on the Bellarine.  He had been a Councillor in the Bellarine Shire since 1888, and served as Mayor between 1891 and 1893. He retired from the Bellarine Shire Council in June 1905 after 17 years of public service.  At a Council meeting, the Mayor expressed regret at the circumstances which brought about Mr Grigg’s retirement. 
Geelong Advertiser, 12 July 1905, p.1.

The children of Thomas and Kathleen's marriage were:

  • Mary Elizabeth Grigg - born 1878 at Bellarine
  • James Williamson Grigg - born 1879 at Bellarine
  • Thomas Metherall Grigg - born 1881 at Bellarine
  • Donald Douglas Grigg - born 1883 at Bellarine (A.I.F.)
  • Richard Randolf Grigg-  born 1885 at Bellarine
  • Gertrude Alice Grigg-  born 1888 at Bellarine
  • Frederick William Grigg - born 1891 at Bellarine
  • Lillian Mabel Grigg - born 1892 Drysdale
  • Norman Cecil Grigg - born 1893 at Bellarine (A.I.F.)
  • William Archibald (Archie) Grigg -1895 at Bellarine (A.I.F.)

Pre War
Archie Grigg had a strong military background during his school years.  He was a member of his school's Cadets Unit No. 48A for 12 months, before transferring to the Victorian Militia.  He was with the 48th Infantry for 3 years (1912–1915), and served as Private W.A. Grigg, No 456, until 12 July 1915, when he transferred to the A.I.F.

[48th Infantry in Victoria – In 1913 new Militia Units were formed in Victoria.  Almost 500 senior cadets in Victorian schools passed into the Militia Forces of the Commonwealth. They would bear arms for eight years, as a compulsory reserve.  The 48th Infantry was to be drawn from the Gippsland district, and consisted of 31 Officers and 590 Other Ranks.  
The Age,
27 May 1913, p.12.

War Service
At the age of 20 years and 5 months, Archie Grigg took his oath and enlisted in the A.I.F. at Melbourne on 13 July 1915.   Being under the age of 21 years, his parents were required to give their written consent for him to serve overseas.

Archie was first sent to the 46th Company Depot at Seymour for initial training, which he completed on 12 August 1915.  He then went to the A.I.F. Signal School for one month, where he graduated and was appointed as a Sapper with the Signal Engineers, 2nd Division, A.I.F. on 15 October 1915.  Archie was then appointed to the 2nd Division Signal Company.

Sapper William Archibald Grigg embarked from Melbourne on 23 November 1915, per HMAT Ceramic A40, with the 2nd Divisional Signal Company, Head-quarters and No 1 Section. They disembarked in Egypt, and began their supporting role and further training.

The 2nd Divisional Signal Company was serving at Gallipoli at this time, so these newly arrived reinforcements were known as H.Q. and No 1 Section (duplicate) of the No 2 Divisional Signal Company.  There is no record of where the "duplicates" served, until their parent company arrived back in Tel-el-Kebir from Gallipoli on 8 January 1916.  Then at the end of January, the Company relocated to Ferry Post on the Suez Canal.

The 4th and 5th Divisional Signal Companies of the Australian and New Zealand Forces were formed at the Tel-el-Kebir base in Egypt on 28 February 1916. Initially, the men used to form both companies were transferred from several local sources, namely:

  • The H.Q. and No 1 Section (duplicate) of the No 2 Divisional Signal Company, which was attached to the 1st ANZAC Corp Signal Company. (This was Sapper Archie Grigg’s original Company)
  • The Brigade Signal Section of the 4th and 8th Brigade, and
  • Some officers and men from the 1st and 2nd Divisional Signal Companies. 

The main role of the Signal Companies at that time was the laying and maintenance of telephone cables and switchboards, used to connect various units in their area.

Captain Stanley initially assumed command of the new 4th and 5th Signal Companies on 8 March 1916, and on the following day, Sapper Archie Grigg was transferred to the 5th Divisional Signal Company, where he remained for the duration of the war.

On 23 March 1916, the 5th Divisional Signal Company moved to the camp at Ferry Post (next to the Suez Canal), and took over the Signal Office there from the N.Z. Divisional Signal Company.  Sapper W.A. Grigg's name appears on the Companies Nominal Roll there, dated 20 March 1916.

During April 1916, the Company worked the Signal Office for the Divisional H.Q., and the 8th, 14th, and 15th Infantry Brigade. They also ran new telephone cables and replaced existing ones.  Training of new men in signal work was always a high priority.

On 3 June 1916, the Company H.Q. and No 1 Section relocated to Moascar (10 kilometres by road from Ismailia). Then on 16 June they moved to Alexandria by train, where they began embarking onto H.M.T. Manitour.  The ship sailed for Marseilles on the afternoon of 18 June 1916, and was accompanied by a Mine Laying ship.  After one weeks sailing, they arrived at Marseilles, and began disembarking before their move to Northern France.

After a three day train trip, they arrived at their first base was at Blaringhem (in the Nord department in northern France), where they took over the Signal Office, and arranged phone lines to the Brigade positions.

On 1 July 1916, the Company began making arrangements for the new carrier pigeon service, which was to be included as part of their role.  They then received three new motor cyclists, and their 61 horses arrived on site.

Signal Companies were always on the move, and by 14 July 1916 they had relocated to Croix de Bac, and taken over the Signal Office there.  A lot of their work included burying signal cables under the cover of darkness.  Cables were usually buried 6 or 7 feet deep for protection against enemy shelling.

Carrier pigeons were used with great success during artillery action at Sailly, on 19 July 1916.  Their average flight time back to their loft being 17 minutes, but their use was limited to daylight operations.  The 15 motor cycles were also "taxed to their utmost", delivering "priority" despatches between Divisions and headquarters.  On just one day, 505 sealed packets were hand delivered, 228 messages were sent, and 298 messages were received over the telegraph wires.

After the operation had concluded, work was resumed on the burying of signal cables, retrieving disused cables, and selected men were sent for training at Wireless School.

The Nominal Roll at Sailly, (included in the Company's War Diary for July 1916), includes "No. 3647, Sapper Grigg W.A.". The war diary also has diagrams of the extensive cable network that the company were supporting.

In August 1916, the company began three day training courses for men from other units on Carrier Pigeon operations. Men were being selected to go to Gas School for training.  Then on 11 August 1916, Sapper Grigg was included in the promotions list, when he was appointed to Lance Corporal. 

Horses and mules played a large role in the company.  They hauled the heavy cable wagons, and were also used to deliver messages.  In August 1916, all of the animals were inoculated. Two reacted badly, and were later shot.

In September 1916, the company set up a Divisional Signal School at Sailly.  It conducted two week courses, which were attended by 40 signallers from various units.  Subjects included flag drills, Laying and joining cables, fault finding, internal office wiring, theory of electronic signal devices, practice with signal lamps, flappers and buzzers.

Signal Memorandum No.5 was issued in August 1916.  It detailed the operation of the Despatch Rider Letter Service (D.R.L.S.) provided by the 5th Australian Signals Division. Despatches could be sent and received at twelve different times, between the hours of 6 a.m. and 11.35 p.m.  There was also provision for Special Messages by Special Despatch Riders, in exceptional circumstances.

In October 1916, the company handed over the Signal Office at Sailly to the N.Z. Division Signal Company, and relocated to Fricourt in the Somme department, in Picardie, northern France.  There they took over the Signal Office from the 30th Division Signal Company.  One week later, ten troopers from the 13th Australian Light Horse reported for duty, to relieve members of the Irish Horse, who had been attached as Mounted Orderlies.  The Mounted Orderlies and the motor cycles both carried despatches on nominated routes each day.

The company next relocated in early November 1916.  They took over the Signal Office in Ribemont on 6 November 1916, and the Signal Office at Vignacourt on the following day.  After several weeks they moved again, this time to Bernafay Wood, where they took over the Office and Communications from the Guard’s Division. They remained there until 23 December 1916, when they moved back to Ribemont.

January 1917 saw the Company relocate to Vignacort, where they took over the Signal Office from the 4th Australian Division Signal Company.  Number 2 Section were attached to the 8th Infantry Brigade at Rainneville, Number 3 Section were attached to the 14th Infantry Brigade at Franvilliers, and Number 4 Section were attached to the 15th Infantry Brigade at Ribemont.  At the end of the month, the company moved again, and took over the Signal Office at Bernafay Wood.  Here they concentrated on burying cables, and many men were injured when they struck unexploded bombs.

The retreat of the enemy, and subsequent advance by the allied troops, caused problems for the company in March 1917.  Long sections of new cable had to be laid and maintained, and what was once their front lines were now their back area.  The cable laying wagons were used heavily, and abandoned enemy cables were also utilised by the Company.

At the beginning of April 1917, the Company sections were distributed as follows:

No 2 Section was with the 8th Infantry Battalion at Bapaume, and later moved to Fremicourt,

No 3 Section was with the 14th Infantry Battalion at Thilloy, and

No 4 Section was with the 15th Infantry Battalion at Lucerie near Le Transloy.

On 21 April 1917, the Company handed over the Signal Office at Beaulencourt to the 11th Imperial Division, and moved the H.Q. and No 1 Section to "The Dingle" near Contalmaison for rest.  While here, all members of the Company were given the opportunity to vote in the Commonwealth Elections for the House of Representatives and the Senate.  It was at this time that Archie Grigg received his promotion to the rank of Corporal.

In May 1917, while the Division were resting, the Signal Company participated in a two day Athletic and Horse Show, and according to the Unit's Diary, they "participated in the prize money”.  Sixty regimental signallers attended Signalling Classes at The Dingle during this time, until the Signal Company moved back into the line.  (These courses resumed when the company returned from the front.)  Special attention was given to instruction and practice of Visual Signalling and the use of the Fullerphone (or Power Buzzer).  It was found that most men were not capable of operating over eight words per minute.  Training courses were also held at the Company loft, where 12 men per unit were instructed on Pigeon Services.

The Company rest break ended on 10 May 1917, when they moved to Monument Commemorative. From 7 to 26 May 1917, the 5th Australian Division was "in the line".  The Signal Company experienced difficulty in maintaining forward communications due to very heavy enemy shellfire, but their deeply buried cable network between Division and Brigade positions performed very well.  It was only cut once by shell fire.

The phone links between Brigade and the Battalions were continually being cut, and on 21 May 1917, all forward lines were cut.  Some lines having up to 12 individual breaks in them.

On 13 May 1917, the Brigade Signal Office received a direct hit and was completely destroyed, and many injuries were sustained.  With assistance from the 58th Division Signal Company, the office was able to be rebuilt very quickly.

Company motor cycle despatch riders were used successfully during this action, carrying despatches between the front and the rear. A carrier pigeon service was also established on the front line, but they only carried test messages when they had to be released.   

At the conclusion of this action, two men from the Signal Company were awarded Military Medals, five members were mentioned in despatches and one man was awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal.  Corporal Grigg was awarded a two-week furlough, which he took in England.

Between 1 and 17 June 1917, the Signal Company were in reserve with the Division at Bancourt.  Here they re-equipped, and continued operating training courses.  One exercise involved working with Aeroplane Contact patrols, in co-operation with Signal Services, during Infantry attacks.  Nine wireless operators and their equipment were taken on strength. Then on 17 June 1917, the Signal Company, with the Division Artillery H.Q., and the French Artillery Brigade, moved to the training area at Rubemare.

On 5 July 1917, an Assault at Arms Competition was held at Henencourt Wood, between sections of the 5th Division Signal Company.  It was to celebrate the visit by King George V, comprised of rapid communication exercises using various methods of communication; Lucas Lamps, Semaphore, Buzzers, Vibrators and Despatch Riders.

The Unit's War diary also notes that the Aeroplane Signalling Sheets and Panels, previously recommended by this company, are now on the establishment of all Divisional Companies.

In mid July 1917, the Signal Company began relocating to Bleringhem in Belgium.

  • The No 2 Section was with the 8th Infantry Brigade at Racquingham,
  • The No 3 Section was with the 14th Infantry Brigade at Eblingham, and
  • The No 4 Section was with the 15th Infantry Brigade at the Chateau between Wallen Chapel and Sercus.

They remained there until the middle of September 1917 when the No 2, 3.and 4 Sections travelled to Steenvorde with the 8th, 14th and 15th Brigades.

The Signal Company moved to Dickebusch (Walkers Camp) on 23 September 1917, and active operations commenced on 26 September 1917.  This included fighting around Polygon Wood. At the conclusion of the battle, 11 men from the Signal Company were recommended for awards.

A report on the Communications at the end of the battle found that:

  1. Part of the buried cable system had been rendered useless by a direct hit, prior to the attack.  On the whole, the cable system was satisfactory.
  2. Laddered surface lines on the surface were fairly satisfactory, when used with Fullerphones.  No surface lines could remain intact after the shelling on the 26th.
  3. Little use was made of the Wireless Sets, and the cables near them remained intact.
  4. A visual chain of signallers was established, but it was ineffective during the battle due to the heavy shell fire, smoke and dust.
  5. Each Brigade was supplied with 50 pigeons each night, but insufficient use was made of them.  Most returned to their lofts with no messages.
  6. Runners rendered an excellent service, although there were a number of casualties.  A lot of strain was placed on them when they had to act as guides. During heave attack runners were the most reliable way of maintaining communications.
  7. Motor cycles were used between Division and Hellfire Corner, where they were met by runners. 

Changes had also been introduced in the Horse Section. Sixteen riding horses were now replaced with bicycles.

On 9 October 1917, preparations began for the Company's next move to the Ypres Sector.  At this time no offensive action was taken by the Division and they came under heavy attack.  The priority work was burying and maintaining signal cables in their sector.  This work was done under heavy enemy shell fire, and many of the men were recommended for awards for their courage and dedication

In November 1917, the Company moved to Bailleul, and began improving the communications network there.

On 1 December 1917, the whole Division with Artillery units were holding a section of the line extending from the La Douve River, north to the Ypres-Comines Canal.

Number 1 sub-section was attached to the 13th Australian Field Artillery Brigade at Regents Dugouts.

Number 2 sub-section was attached to the 14th Australian Field Artillery Brigade forward of Wulverghem.

Number 2 Section were attached to the 8th Infantry Brigade at Midland Farm.

Number 3 Section were attached to the 14th Infantry Brigade, in reserve at Kemmel

Number 4 Section were attached to the 15th Infantry Brigade forward of Mount Kemmel.

They remained in these positions until 11 December 1917, when they withdrew to the rest area at Samer. The weather at this time was extremely cold, and the motor cyclists were restricted to the main roads, due to the deep snow.  They had to rely on runners to meet them and continue on overland, in order to complete their rounds.

A Nominal Roll of the Company was published at this time, and Corporal W.A. Grigg appears as a member of the No.2 Cable Section, of the No.1 Section.

On 8 December 1917, Archie Grigg was promoted from Corporal to Sergeant.  During the same month, men from the Company were able to vote in the Australian Conscription Referendum, which took place on 11 December 1917.

Then in the middle of January 1918, the Company moved back into the Messines sector of the line, and remained there until the end of March.  Conditions were severe, and they had to cope with the cold and snow.  Due to the ice on the roads, modified chains had to be designed and fitted to the wheels of the motor Cycle despatch rider's machines.  It was so cold that the drive belts to the wheels would slip, and a solution to that problem was also found.

The buried cable network was still the most reliable means for communications within the division.  Wireless Stations continually sent messages back from Company Headquarters in the front line to Divisional H.Q.  Visual connection between all units was an essential backup in case if equipment failure.  It was used exclusively for several hours on selected days, but for obvious reasons, only in one direction.

The signal Company remained in the line until the end of March 1918, when they relocated to the area around Vauchelles. During their short stay there they were under orders to be ready to move out with one hours’ notice. On 4 April 1918, the Division received orders to move to the Blangy Tronville area. Once there, the Signal Office set up a new office in the Tronville Chateau, and began installing a new network of cables.  This was made up of over 200 miles of cable.

Five men were wounded by shellfire during this operation, including Sergeant W A Grigg.  He was wounded on 6 April 1918, and moved back to the General Hospital three days later.  He treated by the 7th Australian Field Ambulance for a gunshot wound to the head, and passed to the 41st Casualty Clearing Station.  From there he went by Ambulance train to the 9th General Hospital at Rouen. By 10 April 1918, he had recovered sufficiently, and was transferred to the 2nd Convalescent Depot at Rouen for three days before returning back to his unit at Bussy-les-Daours on 22 April 1918.

His parents in Werribee were advised by letter of their son’s wounding on 17 April 1918, and how they could contact him.

In May 1918, a trial on the use of war dogs as message carriers was begun by the Signal Company.  This involved three keepers and nine dogs.  The keepers would be taken forward to a Battalion in the line, and their dogs were then taken on by runners to Company Headquarters.  They remained there until they were required to carry messages back to Battalion, and their performance was found to be quick and satisfactory.  Special orders were issued stating that:

  • Dogs can be recognised by a tin cylinder attached to their collar.
  • Dogs on a run must not be hindered.
  • At no time were they to be petted or offered food.
  • Dogs found near a cook-house should be hunted away.
  • Bitches on heat must be sent out of the area where messenger dogs are working.

The distance the dogs had to travel was about 2,000 yards, and in ideal circumstances they would return to their keeper in 15 minutes.  This compared to a runner taking about one hour to cover the same distance.  One dog took its message to the wrong Battalion over two miles away, and one was found roaming in the local village.  They were also interfered with by local stray dogs, and after arrangements were made to have all strays destroyed, the service was much better.

Trials of a new panel to allow communications between Infantry and aircraft were also begun at this time.  It included communicating with the aircraft via the panel and the dropping of messages into a designated dropping ground.  The initial trials were satisfactory.

A Company Routine Order was issued in May 1918, forbidding men to use explosives to obtain fish from the River Somme. The bed of the river had been used for laying signal cables, and the explosions created by troops fishing were causing interruptions to service.

June 1918 was quiet with no major operations in their area. Over 200 men were engaged in the ongoing work of burying signal cables.  The Nominal Roll for the Signal Company shows that Sergeant W. A. Grigg was still with the Number 1 Section’s Left Wing.  It comprised of 1 Subaltern, 1 Sergeant, 2 Corporals, 1 2nd Corporal, 2 Lance Corporals, 1 Shoeing Smith, 16 Sappers, 12 Drivers and 1 Batman.   

During July 1918, all units remained in their previous positions. On 5 July, the Division was involved in a large successful raid and attack, and valuable ground was won from the enemy. Special Signal communications were provided in support of the operation.  Messages were sent by rockets, and Carrier Pigeons were used in daylight hours.  The "T" Popham Signalling Panel was also used to communicate with aircraft.

The enemy counter attacked on 9 July using Yellow Cross Gas, but they were unsuccessful.  In another operation on 28 July, important high ground in the enemy’s lines was captured.  The Signal Company again were able to provide excellent communications to the Brigades involved.

On 10 July, the Signal Company captured an enemy carrier pigeon, but it was not carrying a message.

With America coming into the war more, a party of 25 men from the 65th American Brigade were attached to the Signal Company to obtain practical experience.

In August 1918, the four Australian Divisions began working together under one Australian Corps.  Their operations were successful and the enemy lost a lot of ground.  The fighting became more mobile and rapid, and this put a great strain on the Signal Services in their role of supporting the battalions. There was extensive pressure placed on the cable layers, while the visual signallers, despatch riders and runners were heavily relied on for their services.  In one instance a cable of 23,000 yards was run out to the 15th Australian Infantry Brigade.

On 8 August 1918, the Signal Company moved to the area around Bayonvillers, in preparation for a large attack on the enemy.  The fighting began on the following day, and the enemy fell back quickly, leaving many items of their communication equipment behind.  A large selection of these were later forwarded to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

The Brigade moved out of the line on 10 August 1918, and the Signal Company began salvaging cables and repairing equipment.  Taking advantage of this opportunity Archie Grigg was able to take two weeks leave in England.

In early September 1918, the Division was engaged in fighting on the Somme River and in St Denis Wood.  It was proposed to move the Brigade Headquarters across the Somme, which required that a signal cable be laid across the river.  On 29 September 1918, the Australian Corps along with two American Divisions commenced operations against the Hindenburg Line.  This was the most important action that the Division had participated in, and required extensive preparation with regard to signal communications.

On 8 October 1918, the Australian Corps were moved out of the line, and went to the rest area Oisemont in Northern France.  Here they undertook the usual overhauling and cleaning duties of their signalling equipment and their personal clothing

They were still in the resting area on 11 November 1918, when rumours of an Armistice began circulating.  These were confirmed in the afternoon when the church bells in Oisemont began ringing and the local residents put up bunting.  The unit's lorries were decorated, and one bore a sign saying "Wanted, a reliable town mayor for Berlin".

Preparations were then made for a march by the Signal Company into Germany, but it never eventuated. Instead, the Signal Company instead relocated to Favril after a trip lasting several days.

On 11 December 1918, the Runners that had been attached from the Infantry Battalions were returned to their units.  A few days later, a French civilian was trying to improve the look of his house, when he cut out all of the signal cables passing in front of it.  There is no record of what was said to him.

The demobilisation process began, with some "1915 Personnel" being transferred to the A.G.B.D. for return to Australia.  For those waiting to be returned, various training classes were began to assist men find work, post war.

The Signal Company Headquarters moved to Solre Le Chateau on 18 December 1918, and the Sections attached to the Infantry Brigades  were also moved.  Every man secured a folding iron bed and a mattress from one of the abandoned German hospitals in the town.  Then followed the usual process of establishing communication links with the Divisions. Christmas day was celebrated very well with a concert and a special dinner, despite no comfort packages being delivered.

January 1919 was spent quietly with the men participating in sports and attending concerts. Then on 3 February 1919, Sergeant Archie Grigg marched out of camp to begin his return to Australia.

On 15 February 1919, he arrived at the 2nd Training Brigade Convalescent Camp at Codford in southern England.  Then after a three month wait he embarked on the 31 May 1919 and returned to Australia per the Wyreema.

Archie Grigg was then discharged from 3rd Military District on 25 July 1919 to resume his normal life.

Post War
At a Welcome Home ceremony in the Werribee Mechanics Hall on 25 June 1919, Sergeant W.A. Grigg of the 5th Division Signal Company was one of the many men who were presented with a Gold Werribee Medal.  
Werribee Shire Banner, 26 June 1919, p.3.

A newspaper article reported that "Mr and Mrs T Grigg had been advised that their son, Sergeant W.A. Grigg, had been mentioned in Sir Douglas Haig's despatch of 16 March 1919, for conspicuous services rendered".  
Werribee Shire Banner, 25 December 1919, p.2.   [This was probably for his efforts in the battle on the Hindenberg Line late in 1918.  His award was also promulgated in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, No.124, dated 30 October 1919].

Archie Grigg had a short career playing V.F.L. Football with the Melbourne Demons.  He wore number 32 and played three games in 1919.  He was referred to as "Billy Grigg" in the Football Record, and that he was a brother of Geelong's Dick Grigg.

In need of a job, Archie Grigg entered into a partnership with his older brother Norman Grigg and Leslie Hodges.  With assistance from the Repatriation Department and the local Member of Federal Parliament, they were able to set up and operate a flax mill at Sale in 1919.  
Gippsland Times, 11 December 1919, p.4.

As part of this process an agreement was reached whereby the partnership would take 33% of the value of the flax treated, plus 50% of the Government’s grower's bonus.  
Gippsland Times, 9 October 1919, p.4.

On 18 October 1920, Archie Grigg received his two oak leaves (one large and one small) Mentioned in Despatches emblems.

Archie Grigg along with his brother Norman and Leslie Hodges operated the Flax Mill at Sale until September 1923, when their partnership was dissolved.  Norman Grigg then carried on the business on his own.  
Gippsland Times, 27 September 1923, p.2.

In 1920, Archie Grigg played football for the Sale Club, and in a game on 8 May 1920, he was credited with scoring two goals.  
Gippsland Times, 10 May 1920, p.3.

Then in 1921 he was elected as the vice-captain of the Sale Football Club.
Gippsland Times, 16 May 1921, p.4.

By 1923 Archie Grigg had relocated to Melbourne, and was living at 40 Rathmines Street in Fairfield when his three war service medals were delivered.  At this time he was employed as a pipe tester.  Archie remained at his address until 1925 when he applied for a grant under the War Service Homes Act 1918-20.

In the same year, 1925, William Archibald Grigg married Ida Raiment Suckling in Victoria, and in the following year they moved to 7 Berrima Ave, Malvern East.  Archie was then working as a clerk.  In 1927, the couple moved to a new home in the same street in Malvern East, and remained there for 41 years until Ida died in 1968.  Between the years 1963 and 1968, a Norma Katherine Grigg lived with them, but it is unclear as to her relationship.

After his wife Ida died, Archie continued to live at 19 Berrima Avenue until 1977 when his name disappeared from the Electoral Roll.

William Archibald Grigg died at Frankston on 15 October 1983, and was cremated at the Springvale Botanical Cemetery on 20 October 1983.

Medals & Entitlements:

  • 1914/15 Star
  • British War Medal
  • Victory Medal
  • Mentioned in Despatches

The surname "Grigg" never appeared in the Werribee Shire Banner's Roll of Honor in any of their wartime editions.

Archie Grigg from Drysdale is included in the Queenscliff Sentinal's Roll of Honor, 31 March 1917, p.3.

A.I.F. - In World War 1, while the permanent and militia forces were retained for home service, Australia raised the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) for service overseas. Volunteers were enlisted from the permanent and militia forces, as well as the civil community.

A photo of men from the 5th Divisional Signal Company laying cable is at https://rslvirtualwarmemorial.org.au/explore/units/104

Popham Signal Panel operation - http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?/topic/29351-popham-panels/

Badges – Gallipoli Service - extracted from A.I.F.  Order 937 and republished in the 5th Australian Divisional Signal Company Routine Orders, dated 9 November 1917.

"Members of the A.I.F. who served on Gallipoli will be entitled to wear over their unit colour patches on both sleeves of the Service Dress Jacket and Greatcoat the letter “A” as an indication that the wearer has taken part in the operations on the Gallipoli Peninsula.  Wearing the letter is mandatory by those who are entitled to it".

Chevrons for Overseas Service - extract from Signal Company Routine Orders dated 14 December 1918.

"In the A.I.F., the wearing of chevrons for overseas service is compulsory. The date of embarkation from Australia indicates the number of chevrons to which a soldier is entitled".


Service History

Unit War Diary

Embarkation List https://www.awm.gov.au/people/rolls/R1797603/



Death Index Victoria 1921-1985 CD


Medals and Entitlements

1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal


“William Archibald (Archie) Grigg (1895-1983),” Wyndham History, accessed November 30, 2023, http://www.wyndhamhistory.net.au/items/show/2141.


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